Jun 262014 11 Responses

Three Myths About Adultery

I find it interesting that God talks about sex in the Ten Commandments. We know sex is important, but the fact that it made the Top Ten is surprising. While we seek to privatize sex, God seems to publicize it. (See: What Your Husband Wants from You In Bed)

The presence of sex within the Ten Commandments either means sex is far more important to God than we realize or that God is far more interested in the details of our lives than we often believe. Of course the truth is both—sex is important and God cares about our lives.

When we think about adultery in the context of the Ten Commandments, we can see how the act of adultery not only violates the 7th commandment, but actually is a violation of each command:

  1. Adultery ignores God’s right to set boundaries in our lives.
  2. Adultery is an act of idolatry—putting something in the place of God.
  3. Adultery, for a Christian, is a misuse of God’s name.
  4. Adultery is an attempt to find enjoyment and pleasure outside of God’s prescription.
  5. Adultery dishonors our mother and father, our spouse’s mother and father, the mother and father of the person we commit the act with, and makes it difficult for our children to honor their mother and father.
  6. Adultery is acting as though your partner is dead therefore your vows to them no longer exist.
  7. “And you shall not commit adultery.”
  8. Adultery is stealing what doesn’t belong to you.
  9. Adultery is bearing false witness about the nature of your relationship.
  10. Adultery is coveting what belongs to another.

While some might willfully violate all ten commands at once without any sense of regret, the majority of people I communicate with who have committed adultery did not set out to sin. They were lured into their action through deception. Only when their eyes have been opened to their actions can they see the foolishness of their actions.

There are three major myths people believe about adultery which leads to their disobedience:

Myth #1: Adultery is about the sex.

Truth: Adultery is about the heart.

Adultery is never about the sex. It may feel as though it is about the sex. In many cases, the sex is extremely powerful. But adultery is actually about the heart. It reveals a heart which is hurting so much it is willing to violate marriage vows, it’s own conscience, and God’s laws in order to feel some relief. (See: Stop Listening to Your Heart)

When we minimize the importance of sex and then convince ourselves that adultery is simply about sex, we can easily justify our inappropriate actions. However, when we realize adultery is about our hearts, it not only helps us understand why God cares about who we sleep with, we also see the weight of our sin.

Myth #2: Adultery is acceptable for me because this person is my soul mate.

Truth: Adultery has very little to do about the greatness of another person and everything to do about a weakness within you.

Just as adultery is not about the sex; it is also not about the other person. They might be great, but that is not why you are sleeping with them. You are sleeping with them because something is wrong with you. (See: You’re Not My Soul Mate)

Proof that adultery is always about us is seen in absence of any correlation between attractiveness and adultery. If the girlfriend was always more attractive than the wife, or if the boyfriend was always hotter than the husband, then the argument could be made that adultery is about the other person. Yet, there is no correlation between attractiveness and adultery. That’s because adultery is far more about us than the other person.

Myth #3: Adultery is unique in each situation.

Truth: Adultery happens in very predictable patterns.

Adultery occurs because we think we are in a very unique situation. The truth is that nearly every affair follows a very similar pattern. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be humorous to listen to people talk about their affair because what they think no one else has ever felt has actually been felt by every person who has ever had an affair. (See: When You Feel What No One Else Has Ever Felt)

Because adultery often happens in predictable patterns, we can use its predictability to our advantage. Each stage is a warning sign which should get our attention and cause us to get help. However, if we think our experience is unique, we will be tempted to believe no one will understand what we are feeling and no one will be able to help us. (For a description of the common path of an affair, see: You Will Have an Affair If…)

Adultery is an act of foolishness. It is never the wise choice to violate your vows and sleep with another person other than your spouse.

While adultery promises life, it actually steals life. I’ve seen the panic in the eyes of someone afraid their secret is being made known. I’ve watched the crushing weight of rejection and betrayal overcome those who have learned of their partner’s affair. I’ve seen families destroyed and communities injured because of inappropriate relationships. (See: What I Mean When I Say ‘You’re a Sinner’)

Many people see the seventh commandment as one which restricts human freedom and fun, but in truth God is trying to prevent deep heartache and loss. The seventh commandment protects us.

When we obey this command and remain sexually faithful, we are free to enjoy a healthy sexual relationship in the context of trust and friendship.


11 Responses to Three Myths About Adultery
  1. […] Even if a person isn’t looking and they are aware of their diminished willpower, affairs can ... kevinathompson.com/beware-of-the-crossfit-affair
  2. […] On a regular basis I walk men through these truths about adultery. (See: Three Myths About Adultery)... kevinathompson.com/this-is-only-for-women-men-shouldnt-read
  3. […] We think we are different. (See: Three Myths About Adultery) […]... kevinathompson.com/you-will-have-an-affair-if
  4. […] People do not have affairs in their right mind. They do so out of deception. They are lured into adu... kevinathompson.com/greatest-threat-marriage
  5. Ana Bills-Goggins Reply

    I wish I could send this to my husband but he will NEVER read it…thank you though for writing it!!

  6. […] People with boundaries in their relationships (and those that promote those boundaries) are living i... kevinathompson.com/mimic-dont-mock-mike-pence
  7. Kathryn Reply

    “Sex” is how God has decided to create a unique human being/immortal soul. One doesn’t have need to be a reproductive biologist to know there are some pretty funky/comical ways God has decided to create and be grateful we have “sex” (you don’t want to do it the way cats do!)
    It should not come as a surprise Sex made it into the top ten. God creates, and He’s pretty serious about it.

  8. Dennis Stone Reply

    Another good article. Thank you for your frankness on subjects that are often difficult to face.

  9. Josie Reply

    Is sexting adultery

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      It’s a form of emotional adultery. It’s a sign a couple should get help, not a sign they should divorce.

  10. Sam Reply

    Great article–this reminds me so much of Amy Grant.

    “Truth: Adultery has very little to do about the greatness of another person and everything to do about a weakness within you.”

    That was Amy’s argument. Her marriage was “broken” and she and her husband Gary were a bad “combination.” On the other hand, Vince Gill (who’s likely not even a Christian) was her “soul mate.”

    But as you said, it’s not about the other person. In her song “Faithless Heart” from way back in ’88, Amy actually revealed her weakness for adultery.

    Anyway, when you get what you want, you’re usually disappointed. So, I expect that Amy is miserable in numerous ways with Vince Gill.

    It’s just like how the serpent deceived Eve. If adultery were truly good for you, Satan would constantly be telling you, “Stay married!!! Stay married!!!” LOL.

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